By Benjamin Rosenbaum and Ethan Ham -  Photo by Drayke Larson

Sonia presses the button halfway. There’s a whirr in the bowels of the camera, and Istvan’s face sharpens.

He looks dour. He lifts the yard of beer to his lips. Dour is part of Istvan’s appeal. Dour is his version of flirtatious.

He drinks, and she pushes the button all the way down. The shutter is closed for a twentieth of a second. In that time, Sonia is alone in the dark.

Sonia and Istvan met three weeks ago. They met at another bar, the Filiberto. He says he is an importer. Furniture. They went to see an Irish folk-punk band. He said he liked it. It was standing room only and she was pressed up against his shoulder. His arms were thin but hard. He smelled funny but good—there should be a word for it, but Sonia can never describe smells. It made her think of horses, maybe horses running on the beach, or maybe just horses pulling a beer wagon in a beer commercial.

The shutter’s down. She’s in darkness.

A twentieth of a second.

He could be lying. He could be married. He could be a terrorist. He could be a rapist. He could be an alien. He could be a ghost. He could be a spy.

She’s in the dark, and she’s sure someone’s watching her, out of the mirror, over Istvan’s left shoulder.